Home » News » Archive news » Reunion of the “Invincibles”

Reunion of the “Invincibles”

Thursday, 5 May, 2016 -- Helen Wilson

On a recent family visit to London from his home in Cleveland, Ohio, Stephen Brown (1958) took time out to invite three of his contemporaries to lunch. Stephen had been the scrum half and Captain of the School 1st XV in the 1957/58 season and - three of his guests, Ian Gilham (winger), Clive Purkiss (flanker) and David Norris (lock) were  members of that team.

Whilst the side contained many outstanding players there were no exceptional stars, none having
been selected for representative honours beyond the Kent County Schools’ team. Nonetheless, the team was the first Eltham College 1st XV in its history not to lose a single match, a record the four
“invincibles” believe still stands? The one “failure” i.e. in the only match it did not win, was a nil-nil draw with the Old Elthamians full 1st XV.

Stephen’s one disappointment at the lunch, held at the RAF Club in Piccadilly, was that no-one- had thought to bring a rugby ball for some “off the cuff” practice in the adjacent Green Park.

Also in attendance at the lunch were the wives of the four; Pam Gilham, Jill Purviss, Rosemary Norris and Lesley Brown together with Annette Beith, widow of the OEs late Chairman, Ian.

In addition to reminiscing passionately and nostalgically about the “good old days” at Eltham College, the group set aside a poignant moment or two to raise a glass in memory of Ian.